Goodbye Nigeria …. till we meet again – Toni Payne Writes

Toni Payne.writes 'Goodbye Nigeria'.

Toni Payne.writes ‘Goodbye Nigeria’.

First
of all, let me start by saying I have met some wonderful, intelligent,
caring, heart warming people in Nigeria and on its social media space.
These people are who I can say kept the faith in me that everyone isn’t
bad when my reality was proving otherwise. I respect and appreciate them
and always will.
I am not sure if I should call this me
expressing myself or me being baffled and being too emotional but what I
am sure of is that at this very second, what I am about to write  is
coming from the deepest part of my heart. I don’t care how long I have
to keep doing this, so far it eases my soul, I’m good.
I have
decided to take an extended break from anything that has to do with
Nigeria and it’s social media space. I will continue to communicate with
those I have built a relationship with and those who are there for the
good but I will not do more than that for now. I will leave my world
open for those who genuinely wish to know more.  This decision has been
very hard for me but after careful consideration and enough time
reflecting, it is time to listen to my heart.
Apparently I was
trending in Nigeria yesterday. This did not sit well with me at all
because I became part of the Negativity that is considered trend worthy
in Nigeria. From the media who only write about me when it is negative
to the people creating the negativity, I feel like no matter what good I
try to contribute to Nigeria, it will forever be energy spent because
their focus is on what they can say is bad about Toni Payne. The most
annoying thing is that, this so-called “what is bad” is not even my
reality. It is not who I am and it will never be who I am.


In
Nigeria  the most popular online “news” source are blogs. For the most
part, blogs are mainly ran by people with no experience in journalism
and no accountability and that to me is a huge problem. They seldom fact
check and mostly copy and paste what they have seen elsewhere even when
it is not true. Let me say, I have come across some really good ones
who put a lot of effort into creating their story with facts but
unfortunately those ones are usually the least popular.
If you
google my name you will see how they have helped me create a narrative
that isn’t mine. It is easy for those looking in from the outside to
think that this is all you are about when that is not the case. I am not
sure why the only thing that moves them is negativity but for me, I no
longer wish to be a part of it. The best way to avoid this I think is to
stay clear of Nigerian matters for now.I am tired of complaining  and
revisiting an unhealthy topic.
I have decided to focus my energy
on building my brand elsewhere. It is better I start from scratch than
continue to toil this path. As far as I know, all the media rants and
dragging of my name has not earned me a dime. I have made the front page
of almost every single news magazine in Nigeria yet it has contributed
mostly negativity to my life.
Kim Kardashian can afford to be dragged because she makes her money from the noise. Rihanna can unlook because people will still buy her album. Beyonce
can ignore because as the media reports the negative, they balance it
with the positive and there is accountability. She can take someone to
court for defamation and win. I have nothing to gain from all this.
What
is the essence of trying to do good in a place where negativity reigns
supreme and people will try to castigate you at the slightest
opportunity. For me, it is a lost cause and the sooner I come to terms
with it the better.
I saw some blog headlines today and it was
disappointing to see once again that when they jump on my name, it has
to be for something negative. I can categorically state that in Nigeria I
have NEVER trended for something positive even though positivity is all
I try to put out. I can not be responsible for other people’s actions
but I can choose how I deal with what affects mine.
These same
blogs with the exception of a few have never published any good news
about me irrespective of how hard I work. They have chosen the narrative
they feel will sell and they have been running with it for years. How
do you create a narrative without balance? How is beating the same old
dead topic remotely interesting. Let me live abeg.
It has been 6
years and it looks like nothing will change. If the only news worthy
thing about me in Nigeria is something negative then no matter how much I
love that nation, Nigeria is not for me. I would rather start from
scratch elsewhere. In a sane society I should be super rich from suing a
lot of these people but alas, they will say ehn its Nigeria. Na so we
be. I can choose to ignore it, but I do not have to accept it.
What
prompted the headlines? Well, yesterday I noticed on my twitter
timeline people bashing  rapper Ice Prince. Apparently he was having
relationship problems. The details of that problem are unimportant to me
but what made me react was how insensitive people were to his
plight. Yes he is a celebrity, yes he brought his business on social
media but no it should not stop people from having compassion. It does
not give people the right to be outright mean and wicked.
He was
obviously going through some deep emotions and was met with taunts and
insults. Celebrities are no different from everyone else, the use of
social media to share an opinion or socialize is not restricted to non
celebrities only.  I am a very passionate person and it is always so
hard for me to look the other way when I see something wrong.
I
defended Ice not because I know or agree with the girl or the situation,
not because whatever he wrote or she did was right or wrong but because
when you see someone going through pain, that is what you should do.
All I said was leave him alone and all hell broke loose. Uncultured
Nigerian youths bombarded my timeline. How that is a bad thing still
baffles me. I will never be bullied into not thinking for myself but I
do not have to expose myself to hopeless situations.
At this stage
I do not think I am upset as much as I am disgusted with a lot of them.
Some even went as far as saying I have no right to comment on topics
about cheating. In my head im like really? So based on a lie that
everyone involved has denied, I can’t speak on cheating? Who made you
judge and jury when you were not a witness? Or maybe they came and saw
me cheating hence the firmness of their opinion. I cannot continue to
try to reason with unreasonable people. It is way too much energy spent.
It
is clear to me a lot of these people hate women, they believe nothing
good can come out of a woman, yet they came out of a woman. Something
goes wrong, it’s the woman’s fault. Yes, a woman must be guilty in the
court of public opinions because all women are hoes and cannot be
trusted – I wonder who raised them. No be woman? – I want to ask them,
if I were their sister, would they still feel the same way, or would
they actually take time to listen, look at facts and use their brain for
a change. I wrote the poem Products of Misogyny a while ago and obviously a lot hasn’t changed.
It
has become the norm for “Nigerian Twitter” to choose a new victim to
troll everyday when in fact they should spend that energy in trying to
rebuild their nation. Being exposed to that for me is counter
productive. If you try to educate them, it falls on deaf ears. There is
absolutely no balance. I listened to some of my followers who asked me
to ignore and the words used to describe Nigerian Twitter were all
negative. “wicked” “jobless” “ruthless” and the list goes on, yet they
see nothing wrong with how the world perceives them.
Yes when you
are known, people are watching you but truth be told these same people
have probably also put their private life in public space with the only
difference being nobody cared enough to talk about it. Maybe I have been
delusional my entire life but this is NOT the Nigeria I used to know.
I
remember growing up, we took so much pride in being Nigerian. We are
cultured, we are respectful, we are couth, we are happy people and most
importantly we carried ourselves with unrivaled decorum. I remember
being young I would proudly say of I am Nigerian because I knew we were
seen as classy people. Oh boy have I been woken up out of that dream
world. I guess that was then.
These days all I see is negativity
after negativity being the favorite topic of choice. Nigerian youth
carrying on like they have no home training or sense of pride. Where has
the sense of values we took pride in growing up gone? Social media is
not helping because it sheds light on the true nature of a lot of young
Nigerians.
Please feel free to correct me if I am wrong but we are
no longer a majority of deep thinkers and move makers. These people
have become the minority.
I defended Ice Prince and eventually got
caught in the crossfire. What the trolls had to say did not bother me
as much as the fact that in 2016, after so much “clearing the air” the
majority of them were still harassing me. It pretty much solidified the
fact that a lot of them do not reason, think or read. A lot of them
behave like a generation with no hope and if care is not taken, Nigeria
will continue to be what it is. It also made me realize something,
negativity feeds a lot of souls on Nigerian Twitter and I do not wish to
be a part of it.
To them everything is a joke yet there is
nothing to laugh about. Yes, budgets will go missing, there will be no
light, there will be queue for fuels, there will be looting and so much
more because those meant to be fighting for their future busy themselves
with frivolous things. The highlight of their days is who they managed
to insult and get a reaction out of on social media. How sad is that.!
They
want to act like American kids forgetting the average American child
has their basic amenities met. They even go as far as over doing it
because I see no balance in what trends, it’s mainly negative negative
negative.

  • If I were to sit back and think about my
    experiences I will say it’s people has offered me more grief than joy.
    There is absolutely no motivation left in me to want to do anything
    there.
  • I do not expect everyone to like me but don’t troll me for what I did not do or call me names that are not mine.
  • I have realized the overall orientation of some of my people is bad and there is nothing I can do to change it .
  • Life is not 100% but I have full control over how I choose to live mine.
  • God bless the good people who have shown me love over the years

I
really don’t know what else to say at this point except enough is
enough. I know all I have written will still be misconstrued and fall on
a lot of deaf ears but at this stage, I am doing this for posterity
sake. To go on record so people will someday recall this day. As much as
I love that country, sometimes peace of mind simply trumps patriotism
or passion. Out of the love I have for Nigeria, I started the first
online entertainment website. I held on to it for over 10 years and
recently began to rebuild it to change how things are done. As of right
now, I wish to sell it. If there is anyone interested in buying, do let
me know. Till then, that is the only way I will contribute my quota.
To
anyone who sees this as pointless, what is pointless to you, is not
pointless to me. To those who say it’s for relevance, your sense of
reasoning is extremely foolish. relevance that does not pay my bills but
tarnishes my name? If that is the sort of relevance you wish for, it is
not what I want for myself. I do whatever soothes my spirit how I want
to. To those that say “who cares” you do if you had the time to comment
or have an after thought upon hearing my name. To those blogs who think
they can come on my website to steal this post and post on their blog, I
promise you, I will see to it that your site is taken down for copy
write and plagiarism. Leave the foolery in 2015.
To those that genuinely care. I am not upset. I promise but for the sake of my sanity. This is something I need to do.

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